March 8, 1865. Vol. 1. No. 23. Page 4
‘Three years! I wonder if she’ll know me!
I limp; a little and I left one arm
At Petersburg, and I am grown as brown
As the plump chestnuts on my little farm:
And I am as shaggy as the chestnut burrs,
But ripe and sweet within, and wholly hers.
The darling! How I long to see her!
My heart outruns this feeble soldier pace;
But I remember, after I had left,
A little Charlie came to take my place:
Ah! How the laughing three –year old brown eyes
(His mother’s eyes) will stare with pleased surprise!
Sure, they’ll be at the corner watching!
I sent them word that I should come to-night;
The birds all knew it; for they crowd around,
Twittering their welcome with a wild delight;
And that old robin, with a halting wing,
I saved her life three years ago last Spring.
Three years—perhaps I am but dreaming,
For, like the pilgrim of the long ago,
I’ve tugged a weary burden at my back.
Through the summer’s heat and winter’s binding snow
Till now, I reach my home, my darling’s breast,
There I can roll my burden off—and rest.
When morning came, the early rising sun
Laid his light fingers on a soldier sleeping,
Where a soft covering of bright green grass
Over two lowly mounds was lightly creeping,
But waked him not; his was the rest eternal,
Where the brown eyes reflected lover supernal.